MMSD Reopens Former Brownfield Following Stormwater Project

In March 2016, The Water Council selected Veolia North America to help the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewage District (MMSD) advance the way it manages stormwater. Their Pilot Development Program has seen notable success.

Jones Island Wastewater Treatment Plant

Combined sewers in Milwaukee MMSD can collect rain in volumes that risk straining MMSD’s wastewater treatment plants and overflowing the sewage system. Veolia – a nine-year partner to MMSD – is exploring a better way to manage this excess to meet MMSD’s goals. One of them is to capture the first 740 million gallons across more than 400 square miles, every time it rains, by 2035.

Rain:Net, a cloud-based dashboard created in partnership between Veolia and OptiRTC, enables MMSD to centrally monitor and control this captured stormwater. Using this technology, MMSD has since reopened Cream City Farms, a former brownfield in Milwaukee. Its 40,000-gallon cistern began operating again last June, resuming farm operations for the first time this year as a coop that distributes harvested food to the local community.

Today, the Water Council’s support has inspired six additional sites to control potential outflow in this way, furthering MMSD’s ability to drive innovative ways of maintaining green infrastructure.

“The retention ponds we’re considering vary from small cisterns, to Wisconsin's first regenerative conveyance system to a large stormwater pond managed by the Milwaukee Department of Public Works,” said Open Innovation Process Manager Brennon Garthwait of Veolia North America.

Read the whole story of this project on Planet North America, and see a flyover of the new Cream City Farms below.